HONOLULU (KHON2) — University of Hawaii President David Lassner recommended Craig Angelos to be the next UH Manoa athletics director.

The UH Board of Regents will vote on whether or not to approve the selection on Thursday, May 18; but those in the local sports world are surprised at Angelos’s lack of local connection.

Download the free KHON2 app for iOS or Android to stay informed on the latest news

Angelos has worked at nine universities in 29 years and served as athletic director at Florida Atlantic University from 2003 to 2012. He managed to build a 30,000-seat stadium there. But what about in Hawaii?

Kanoa Leahey’s first question was, “Is there a direct tie to Hawaii?”

“I think the fact that Craig Angelos does not appear to have anything, at least overtly in that nature, I think that is a pause for some concern,” Leahey said.

He went on to explain further.

“The very second thought I had was, ‘He has his work cut out for him,’ Right? I mean, obviously, there are the well-documented, very tangible challenges that face the University of Hawaii Athletics Department on a host of levels, not the least of which, finances.”

KHON2 heard a similar message from folks on campus; Angelos cannot come to the Islands with a “my-way-or-the-highway,” type of attitude if the Board of Regents approves him.

“He’s going to have to come in with an open mind because, you know, we’re a little bit averse to outsiders in the sense that we want people to come in and respect us. We want people to hear us,” said UH Manoa graduate Olivia Hughes.

“As much as we want this to succeed, we also want to take care of our people and, you know, respect the culture and the history of this island and try to combine those two as best as possible.”

Others were hopeful that Angelos can get Hawaii a Division I quality stadium.

“I was really excited to get that, like, college feeling of being in a big stadium and big football stadium. And the stadium here is fine, you know, but definitely don’t get the same amphitheater as I would with the Aloha Stadium,” said UH Manoa freshman Austin Busui.

“Coming here, you’re going to have a lot of challenges, a lot of obstacles. But I think he’s going to be able to overcome a lot of obstacles that we haven’t been able to in the past,” he added.

UH president David Lassner said in part through a statement:

“Mr. Angelos is the best qualified at this time to lead the athletics department and continue to build upon the department’s foundation to advance Hawaii’s only NCAA Division I program during this extraordinary period of dynamic change and challenge.”

David Lassner, University of Hawaii president

Check out more news from around Hawaii

Angelos would start as UH Manoa’s athletics director on Monday, June 5 if he is approved by the Board of Regents.